Vann/Colar Family Gathering on Christmas Day 2010

About the Movie: Gift openings for the kids and adults. It was late in the evening and some of the kids were up way past their bed times.

Christmas Day 2010 began with a bit of snow for Wheaton followed by sleet as we drove eastward into the Chicago to visit with my sisters children and their offspring. Glen and Briana have a lovely home and are kind enough to share it with their siblings on this day. Glen’s mother has joined us again and you can easily tell how proud she is of her son and his wife and children.

A meal of deep-fried turkey, greens, fruit salad, biscuits, kale salad, apple pie and home made cranberry sauce is laid out for everyone to enjoy and before long there is conversation amid mouthfuls of very good food.

As you might imagine 2010 has been a difficult year for many families and this one is no exception. But everyone is hopeful that the coming season will bring new adventures and successes and that is so very indicative of the American Spirit of engagement. I like that this generation is so forward looking.

Kids under the age of 10 years really don’t comprehend how very blessed they are. I am grateful that each of my sister’s sons has found the strength to remain heads of their households and are committed to bringing up their children in a godly manner.

Glen and I stay at the table after dinner and discuss world affairs with an emphasis on politics (in the local sense) and economics. Before long the group decides it’s time for the kids to open their presents. So off we troop to the living room and gather around the tree for the delightful melee of present opening that occurs each year.

Bryan and his family (they live in Kentucky) are not with us today. (Note: I’ve inserted photos of both his daughters below.) And neither is Brandon (who resides in Boston). We think much about Bryan whose unit deployed to Afghanistan a week ago and pray earnestly for his safety. I only wish that all of those folks in the Congress had kids in the military. They often give lip service to their brand of Patriotism but seldom have any worn shoe leather to show for it.

The gift wrappings fly all over the floor and there is a large bag dedicated to serving as a trash bag to keep us from floating in a sea of brightly colored wrapping paper. I miss my sister Victoria and my uncle Burley and my father William. These three are recently departed for their heavenly rewards. My mother died when I was just entering college but she too is sadly missed.

There are peals of laughter that echo around the room. My camera flash is set to provide as much ambient illumination as possible so there are many scenes in which folks can be seen to be blurred. But that actually helps to illustrate the flurry of activity underway.

Friends of my niece and nephews arrive and say hello. Towards the end the group gathers in the family room in the basement to watch a home movie of their visit to Kentucky. Brandon calls in from Boston and we get to talk with him via video conferencing. How times have changed when it comes to technology.

Benjamin sports his newly acquired iPad. Everyone wants to play with it. In that room there have to be as many iPhones as adults and even one Flip HD Movie Camera.

Connie and I have a long drive in snow on slushy streets so we say our goodbyes before heading out. The stairs leading up the front walkway are slippery and I hold on tightly to the railing not wanting to further injure my bad hip. We drive off and enjoy a companionable ride home to our warm bed in Wheaton.

God is good!

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